Shopping Centers Today International

JAN 2016

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 17 of 59

Some years ago CNN ranked Ter- emok eighth among the world's best fast-food chains outside the U.S., and USA Today placed Teremok in its list of "Top Ten Foreign Fast-Food Chains We Want in the USA." Teremok serves other foods besides blinis, including Russian staples such as borscht. The menu items typically cost between $4 and $10. The chain now operates roughly 230 units in various formats, eWARe oF GReekS bearing gifts, if necessary, but welcome Russians bearing blinchiki. Mos- cow-based Teremok, which serves up those thin pancakes (also called blinis) to a customer base of about 30 million and counting back home, is the first Russian fast-food chain to venture into the U.S. And the chain has spared no effort to find desirable sites in New York and New Jersey, according to the represen- tative overseeing the expansion. "I've been working on it for a year and a half, and now we're pretty close to opening, so I'm very ex- cited," said Ilya Denisenko, Ter- emok's U.S. operations manager. ranging from small indoor take-out shops to sit-down restaurants and side- walk kiosks. Back home the company is opening about six per month, the majority of them company-owned. "We are not a franchise business," said Denisenko. "We have a few franchise locations in Russia, but that is it. Not be- ing able to control quality the way that we would like to has led us to keep all locations run only by our company." Founder Mikhail Goncharov, who started the business in 1998, says he will wait to see how the first U.S. stores do before deciding how many more to roll out. He points to the first McDonald's restaurant ever to open in Moscow, in 1990, as inspiration. "When I came there for the first time, I was impressed by the scope and the size of the business, as well as by the quality of the food," he B From Russia, with blinis Teremok looks abroad while opening six eaTeries a monTh back home By Spencer Rumsey r e t a i l i n g t o d a y 18 S C t / J a n u a r y 2 0 1 6

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